Bioceramic specimens have been prepared by incorporating a small amount of silicon (0.4 wt %) into the structure of hydroxyapatite [Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2, HA] via an aqueous precipitation reaction to produce a silicon-substituted hydroxyapatite (Si-HA). The results of chemical analysis confirmed the proposed substitution of the silicon (or silicate) ion for the phosphorus (or phosphate) ion in hydroxyapatite. The Si-HA was produced by first preparing a silicon-substituted apatite (Si-Ap) by a precipitation process. A single-phase Si-HA was obtained by heating/calcining the as-prepared Si-Ap to temperatures above 700 degrees C; no secondary phases, such as tricalcium phosphate (TCP), tetracalcium phosphate (TeCP), or calcium oxide (CaO), were observed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Although the X-ray diffraction patterns of Si-HA and stoichiometric HA appeared to be identical, refinement of the diffraction data revealed some small structural differences between the two materials. The silicon substitution in the HA lattice resulted in a small decrease in the a axis and an increase in the c axis of the unit cell. This substitution also caused a decrease in the number of hydroxyl (OH) groups in the unit cell, which was expected from the proposed substitution mechanism. The incorporation of silicon in the HA lattice resulted in an increase in the distortion of the PO4 tetrahedra, indicated by an increase in the distortion index. Analysis of the Si-HA by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy indicated that although the amount of silicon incorporated into the HA lattice was small, silicon substitution appeared to affect the FTIR spectra of HA, in particular the P-O vibrational bands. The results demonstrate that phase-pure silicon-substituted hydroxyapatite may be prepared using a simple precipitation technique.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.